Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sidewalk Chat With A Member of the Greatest Generation

See this guy?  He and his generation of World War II and Korea military guys are fading from sight.  In a new personal project I have undertaken, whenever I see one of these men sporting their military hats, I stop and thank them for their service and start asking questions.  

Before we get to the guy above I started this with an older gentleman I saw in the grocery store but forgot to ask for his picture.  He wore an Army hat and so I approached him and asked about his time in the Army.  He told me he was in the Signal Corp during the Korean War.  He was responsible for putting up phone lines on poles after ground had been taken.  Every once in a while they'd take more ground and get too fast putting up their lines before they had secured the ground of the enemy.  He was fired on while up in that pole once.  One of his buddies was killed doing this job.  He remembered the cold nights in Korea.  

And now the guy above.  He happily told me his story, and was supremely polite.  Even when I asked to take his picture.  Being 16 at the end of World War II he was too young, so he wrote 17 under his shoes, and lied about his age.  The Navy found out but they, and his parents, granted him a waiver.  He served on the USS  Midway, a newly commissioned aircraft carrier as the war came to an end.  His job was in the radar room to assist in navigation.  He also served in Korea.  

After the war in Korea he was stationed near the Antarctic in a different ship, again to assist in navigation.  He said it was so cold up there that when he got out of the Navy he wanted to go where it was the warmest place and moved to Florida.  I hope Florida took the chill out of his bones.  

Veteran's Day is coming up in a week and a half - plenty of time to get your lists ready.  Why not text, call or tell a vet that day you appreciate what they have done for all of us.  And maybe when you see one of these guys with the hats, take the time to say thanks.  

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